Once there were Wizards, who were Magic, and Warriors, who were not. But Xar, son of the King of Wizards, can't cast a single spell. And Wish, daughter of the Warrior Queen, has a banned magical object of her own. When they collide in the wildwood, on the trail of a deadly witch, it's the start of a grand adventure that just might change the fabric of their worlds.
I can not wait to read the next book in this series. Also, hats off to the reader. Well done.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Mark Hawkins, former park ranger and expert tracker, is out of his element, working onboard the Magellan, a research vessel studying the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But his work is interrupted when, surrounded by 30 miles of refuse, the ship and its high-tech systems are plagued by a series of strange malfunctions and the crew is battered by a raging storm. When the storm fades and the sun rises, the beaten crew awakens to find themselves anchored in the protective cove of a tropical island...and no one knows how they got there.
From its opening paragraphs this book goes south. For example, in Island 731 Jeremy’s Navy had a Master Chief Petty Officer during WWII. In reality the Navy didn’t promote anyone to this rank until May 1959. Oh well, why bother to get it right?
In his opening scene Mark Hawkins, an otherwise smart fellow jumps overboard – from the second deck – to save a man who’d gone overboard. This is neither noble nor smart. Mark had no idea what he was jumping into nor where the man had gone overboard.
The man overboard turns out to be Avril Juliette. She saw a misshaped sea turtle and immediately jumped into a potentially lethal tangle of sea trash. Not a very bright action for a person with two PhDs. However, this is essence of this book: people doing stupid things, who then have to be rescued by more stupid people, until the only possible way to save Mark and his lady love is to use a large dose of literary magic.
Ok, I know that only about 2% of Mr. Robinson’s readers would care in the least that his plot and his characters are unimaginative tripe. However, if your mind extends to such things, be forewarned Island 731 will render you insane by page 11.
As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.
Margret Atwood is not the easiest author to read. Her books have a real substance to them. They challenge me to thing about her characters and the story she's telling. This book is no exception, but she just got a bit over the top preachy on the subject of bio engineering and her view of our future. It was worth the read, but it could have been a lot more if she'd toned it down a bit.
This audiobook challenges several longstanding notions about the American way of war. It examines US military practice (strategic and operational) from the War of Independence to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine what patterns, if any, existed in the way Americans have used military force. Echevarria surveys all major US wars and most every small conflict in the country's military history.
The best thing about this book was its cover. The contents were largely a bibliography of other authors works. The summaries were so many and so brief as to be useless. If one was already familiar with all of the cited authors one wouldn’t need a summary. If one wasn’t familiar the summary was too brief to be of any value.
It’s very hard to determine exactly what Antulio J. Echevarria contributed to the reader’s understanding of the American way of war. From my perspective there isn’t and never was “an” American way of war. Each war was fought with the resources -both political and military – available to the generals and admirals and their political leaders. Each war was fought with the technology available. Clearly as we transitioned from muskets to laser guided bombs we changed our tactics. Each war was fought with the human capital the political leadership could muster. The generals and admirals did the best they knew how to do with what they were given. When we fought less capable opponents we’ve done well. When we’ve fought capable, determined, and equally well resources opponents we’ve prevailed sometimes and failed at other times. What more is there to say? Echevarria didn’t have much to say and I recommend you read someone else book if you are looking something of substance on this subject.
0 of 4 people found this review helpful
Hard-boiled detective Sam Spade is hired to locate a client's sister by tailing the sister's companion. Spade's partner Miles Archer takes on the assignment, and quickly both Archer and the man he was shadowing are murdered. As Spade pursues the mystery of his partner's death, he is drawn into a circle of colorful characters, and they are all after a legendary statuette of a falcon that had long ago been made for King Charles of Spain. Encrusted with jewels, it is worth a fortune.
I saw the movie a long time ago. Reading the book brought back the period. The smoking stood out. Back then I wouldn't have noticed it, but times have changed. Another interesting thing was that most of the story and clues found our detective rather than the other way around. Still, this is a classic I'm glad I read.
Whether it’s brusque, convincing, fraught with emotion, or dripping with innuendo, language is fundamentally a tool for conveying meaning - a uniquely human magic trick in which you vibrate your vocal cords to make your innermost thoughts pop up in someone else’s mind. You can use it to talk about all sorts of things - from your new labradoodle puppy to the expansive gardens at Versailles, from Roger Federer’s backhand to things that don’t exist at all, like flying pigs.
After the first 10 minutes I knew I was in over my head. I'm not a linguistics post grad looking for a new research project. I'm an average Joe looking for a little enlightenment. If you're not deep into language you may want to pass this book bye for something simpler.
43 of 49 people found this review helpful
A wonderful collection of short stories" by some of the all-time great American writers: 1. "The Diamond Lens" by Fitz James O’Brien; 2. "Titbottom’s Spectacles" by George William Curtis; 3. "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe; 4. "The Eyes of the Panther" by Ambrose Bierce; 5. "The Lightning Rod Man" by Hermann Melville; 6. "Seeds" by Sherwood Anderson; 7. "Who Was She?" by Bayard Taylor; 8. "The Man who stole a Meeting House" by John Townsend Trowbridge; 9. "Memoirs of a Yellow Dog" by O. Henry
As always, Mark Twain rules the day. The other stories don't rise to a memory.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful
Dave Harris is a scientist living aboard the Alley, a military space station where he carries out hyperfield experiments. The technology to harvest energy from hyperspace saved humanity from extinction thirty years ago, and Dave’s research is at the cutting edge of hyperfield technology. Just as Dave’s experiments make progress, an accident engulfs the Alley in a whirlwind of chaos and mysterious forces, leading Dave to a disturbing discovery: His work has uncovered the energy behind psychic powers...
Where does The Child rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
See additional comments.
Just a thought, does anyone else think this stilted, fill in the blocks book review is silly and actually detracts from a decent review?
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Child?
See additional comments
What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Nick brings tension and excitement that enhances the written story.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Who makes up these questions?
Any additional comments?
I think I know what I am about; I control my destiny by my actions. But how do I know if my perceptions and more importantly my motivations for my actions are entirely of my own?
Keith Goodnight takes the reader (listener) on an adventure. We learn that six impossible things may take place before breakfast. However, who defines what is possible and what is not? Good science fiction causes us to scratch our heads and wonder at the possibilities. Great science fiction like The Child is truly terrifying.
Keith Goodnight starts with and an “accident” and pulls us bodily through one mind wrenching consequence after another in such quick succession that we almost miss the subtle changes taking place around us. However, those changes channel us, push us, entice us, and ultimately convince us to push the button and change everything – forever.
The starship Starfarer is poised for our first voyage to another star system. The Alien Contact Team - physicist Victoria Fraser MacKenzie, geneticist Stephen Thomas Gregory, geographer Satoshi Lono, and alien contact specialist J.D. Sauvage - and the rest of the faculty and staff prepare for humanity's most ambitious exploratory expedition. But the world has changed. A new regime orders the vessel to be abandoned. It will be turned into an instrument of war. What do the Starfarers do? They do what any red-blooded Alien Contact Team would do. They steal the starship.
What did you like best about Starfarers? What did you like least?
An international collection of scholars and technical experts plan an interstellar voyage. Modeled upon a university, the scholars fawn over research credentials and have an almost universal contempt for authority. Starfarer’s construction reflects the most unusual design I think I’ve ever encountered in a Sci-Fi novel.
As the story opens, we meet the characters. Vonda notes with some detail what each character is wearing, how they’ve furnished their homes, their relationships, and their status on campus.
The mission is at most a backdrop to the soap opera of daily existence. We don’t have mission meetings that detail the operational situation. We have discussions of potential sex/family partners. We discuss coffee and art. We get to know the characters as they meet and socialize. We learn of class distinctions on campus, i.e. professors vs. gardeners.
When the external world does intrude into the story, those bad authority figures want to take over control of Starfarer and change its mission. In response, our heroines and heroes conduct a meeting. The meeting isn’t a clandestine one, but a public meeting. However, it’s more like a meeting of the academic senate in that you have to have status to speak. Never mind that your fate is at stake, common people don’t count much in this world. None-the-less, after much deliberation a plan is developed and anyone who doesn’t like it can leave for Earth. For what happens next, you have to read the book.
Did I like the book? No I didn’t. I found myself skipping ahead to get past the dull stuff right from the beginning. In that sense it was a fast read, but not in a good way.
Was there something big and important at stake? You know like finding a new home for mankind before an asteroid destroys the Earth. Well, no. What was at stake was who got to pick which home for their living quarters and what that said about ones ranking on campus.
Did this story tackle big social issues? Nope. I’d say the status quo was well accepted.
Are there flowers in the gardens on Starfarer? Yes, and you can read about materials used to construct the gardens as well.
Does Starfarer have advanced technology? It has a high tech sail, but residents still have to pay a lot to call home. There are coffee pots, but no replicators. There are no weapons. On whole, technology isn’t really a big part of the story.
Are the characters three-dimensional? Definitely, Vonda spends a considerable time developing the relationships in this story. Frankly, if that doesn’t roll your stockings down and give you a warm happy feeling this might not be the book for you.
If you’ve listened to books by Vonda N. McIntyre before, how does this one compare?
This is the only one of her books I've read/listened too.
Which character – as performed by Gayle Hendrix – was your favorite?
Gayle Hendrix gets 4-stars. She is versatile and imaginative in her portrayal of the numerous characters in this book.
Was Starfarers worth the listening time?
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.
Where does The Kraken Project rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
At the top of the list.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Kraken Project?
When Dorothy meets Jacob.
Which character – as performed by Scott Sowers – was your favorite?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
I’m not giving away the ending by saying that we never get to Titan, but don’t be disappointed after page one I never thought about it again. Douglas Preston delivers an amazing thriller that just kept me listening when I ought to have turned the story off and done something else.
I wanted to know what a Wall Street shark, a young boy all the way across the country, and NASA programing team leader had in common. It wasn’t obvious for a long time. Then in an instant, Dorothy brought them together.
Dorothy takes a while to get to know. She’s young and turbulent, like a teenager. She has feelings; she has fears, two things your average AI doesn’t deal with. She’s a good girl at heart, but at times, she’s an angry twelve year old with a gun, a scary thing indeed.
Melissa Shepherd and Wyman Ford chase after Dorothy while the FBI relentlessly chase after them. However, unlike a recent book by Dan Brown, Douglas Preston provides just enough chase to keep it interesting.
And then it’s over.
Well, not quite over. I think Douglas has yet another spell binding book on the way and I can’t wait for it to arrive.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful